Qualification of a 4 K Mechanical Cooler for Space Applications
British Aerospace Space Systems Ltd (BAe) under a contract awarded by the European Space Agency (ESA) have commercialised a long life 4K mechanical cooler previously developed by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). This commercialisation activity included a review of RAL’s design to ensure suitability for industrial manufacture to a consistent space usage standard, and manufacture of an Engineering Model (EM) which is being subject to characterisation and environmental tests to flight qualification standard.
The 4K cooler consists of a two-stage split Stirling cycle pre-cooler, and a closed cycle Joule Thomson stage to achieve 4K. The closed cycle JT stage has compressors of a similar design to those used in the pre-cooler. The cooler design is presented and the test programme discussed.
KeywordsHeat Exchanger European Space Agency Space Application Heat Shield Coiled Tubing
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